How to Make the Most of LSAC’s Digital Law School Forums
Without the ability to host in-person events during the COVID-19 pandemic, law school candidates and admission offices have had to get creative, with virtual office hours, Zoom panels, and other opportunities to connect digitally. LSAC is also embracing those opportunities. Our popular Law School Forums, which are typically held in several major cities each fall, have moved online this year but will still offer a wealth of information and connection opportunities for law school candidates.
During a recent webinar on how to make the most of fall recruiting events and LSAC Forums, I spoke with Reggie McGahee, associate dean of student affairs, admissions, and financial aid at Washington, D.C.’s Howard University School of Law, and Kristen Juhan, a former law student and participant in LSAC’s forums who is now a practicing corporate lawyer. Both shared some advice for candidates looking to maximize the benefits of these newly digital opportunities as they consider where to start their journey in law.
Do your homework: With more than 200 law schools participating in each forum, you’ll want to make sure you have sufficient time to connect with those on your list. Before the event, contact your preferred schools or visit their websites to get answers to basic questions, such as admission requirements and the median LSAT score and GPA of recently admitted applicants. Don’t rely on blogs or third-party websites, which can sometimes have incorrect or outdated information; instead, go directly to the source.
Take advantage of the entire event: In addition to opportunities to connect with law school representatives, each forum will feature workshops and information booths designed to answer your questions and help you plot your path into law. Information about financial aid resources, preparing for the LSAT, and other on-demand content will be available, and several times per day, there will also be a live presentation that will look much like a Zoom session. You may view the full schedule here.
Put your best foot forward: LSAC Forums provide an invaluable opportunity for candidates to connect with law school representatives in one place, as nearly every ABA-approved law school participates in the forums. And now that the forums are digital, schools are able to engage even more representatives such as alumni, academic support, and career services. While it’s natural to have some anxiety going into an event like this, much of that anxiety can be alleviated with just a little bit of preparation and remembering that law school representatives are people too — and that they want to see you succeed. If you’ve done your research and gotten a handle on what you want to get out of the forum, you’re likely to have a great experience.
Keep an open mind: Don’t focus too much on school prestige or rankings, advised Juhan; instead, think about areas of law that interest you or parts of the country where you might one day want to live and work. Juhan shared that her choice of attending her law school came entirely from a conversation she had with that school’s dean of admissions at an LSAC Forum. Before that, her school of choice hadn’t even been on her radar, but their talk made her realize that it offered the best fit with her goals. Forging a connection with an admissions professional during a forum is another great way to open up ideas.
Ask the kinds of questions that will help you find your fit: LSAC Forums provide an excellent opportunity to determine which law school is the right fit for you. Think about what’s important to you, then ask intelligent, probing questions that will get to the heart of that passion. Are there clinics at a school that are oriented toward your areas of interest? What about externship opportunities? What’s the alumni network like? Does the school help with career placement?
Get noticed: The forums present a unique opportunity for you to market yourself to the people who make decisions about incoming classes. Take that opportunity seriously, and approach it as an interview. Make sure your interest in law and the school is clear, and practice your professionalism. Also embrace the opportunity to network, both at the event and in follow-up communications.
Our first LSAC Digital Law School Forum is coming up on Saturday, September 26, and you have until September 23 at 11:59 p.m. ET to register. Future forums are planned for October, November, and December. We hope to see you there!